The Silver Star at Southern Pines, North Carolina in 2009.

(CZmarlin — Christopher Ziemnowicz, releases all rights, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak Silver Star service icon.


The Silver Star is a long-distance passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 1,522-mile (2,449 km) route between New York City and Miami via Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, and Tampa, Florida. The Silver Star and its sister train in the Silver Service brand, the Silver Meteor, are the descendants of numerous long-distance trains that operated between Florida and New York for most of the 20th century.

During fiscal year 2019, the Silver Star carried nearly 389,995 passengers, an increase of 5.9% from FY2018. In FY16, it earned a total revenue of $29,261,496, an 11.6% decrease from FY2010.


AEM-7 905 leads the Silver Star to Miami, stopping here at Trenton Transit Center.

(Michael E. Pearson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Silver Star was originally a service of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL), running from New York to Miami and later also St. Petersburg (beyond Tampa). Amtrak took over the train in 1971.

Except for a brief period from 1994 to 1995 and from 1996 to 2004, when service to Tampa was provided by the Palmetto (known as the Silver Palm from 1996 to 2002), the Silver Star has served both Tampa and Miami during the Amtrak era. Originally, Amtrak operated the Silver Star with Tampa and Miami sections that split in Jacksonville, with the Tampa section continuing on the old Atlantic Coast Line route through Orlando, and the Miami section traveling through Ocala and Wildwood over most of what was the original Seaboard route to Miami. After November 1, 2004, the Silver Star resumed service to Tampa, and now travels intact all of the way, backing out of Tampa and retracing its route 40 miles (64 km) east to Auburndale, where it heads south to Miami or north to New York. The detour occurs at Lakeland; the train stops there to discharge passengers before going to Tampa and to receive passengers after it returns from Tampa.

In the January 2011 issue of Trains magazine, this route was listed as one of five routes to be looked at by Amtrak in FY 2011 as the previous five routes (the Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, and Cardinal) were examined in FY 2010. With the discontinuation of the Silver Meteor's former Tampa section (a descendant of the Champion, a longtime rival of the Silver Star and Silver Meteor) in 1988, the Silver Star is now the only passenger train serving Tampa.

On July 1, 2015, the Silver Star's dining car was completely removed from the train's consist, a controversial decision that Amtrak rationalized with the idea that sleeping car passengers could obtain meals from the train's café-lounge car. However, on May 1, 2020, the Silver Star's dining car was returned, and Amtrak introduced the “flexible dining” system to the train, which consists of pre-prepared meals which are then heated in either a convection oven or a microwave oven at the time of purchase. In a Rail Passengers Association webinar that took place on November 16, 2022, Amtrak's vice president of long-distance service revealed that traditional dining service was planned to be reintroduced on the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star "in early 2023." Following this announcement, beginning on northbound train 92 on March 15, 2023, traditional dining was reintroduced to the Silver Star for the first time since 2015. However, this was not a permanent rollout and was instead in the form of a 3-month pilot program gauged to test the success of the service. Southbound train 91 received the pilot on March 17. On June 24, 2023, traditional dining service was formally launched on the Silver Star, as well as on northbound Silver Meteor train 98, and the Silver Star pilot program was replaced by permanent service. Southbound train 97 received traditional dining on June 26. Unlike on Amtrak's western long-distance trains that feature traditional dining, neither the Silver Meteor or Silver Star allow Coach Class passengers access to the dining car as of July 2023. Shortly after the formal rollout, however, in another interview with the Rail Passengers Association, Amtrak's vice president of long-distance service stated that Coach Class access to the dining car is planned to be allowed by the end of 2023.

On February 4, 2018, Silver Star train number 91 collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce, South Carolina; sadly, the engineer and a conductor of the Silver Star were killed, and 116 passengers were injured.

In 2021, Amtrak reached out to FDOT to begin negotiations again for utilization of the Miami Intermodal Center. This comes after years of disagreement over the platform length at the MIC, as Amtrak normally adds cars to the Silver Meteor and Silver Star during the winter season to accommodate increased demand. In February 2022, negotiations restarted between FDOT and Amtrak. Later in March 2022, a test train operated into and out of the station and proved that the platforms are sufficient in length to hold a standard 10 car train. However, the platforms are not long enough to accommodate an 11 to 12 car train, which could be possible in the winter months. In September 2022, Amtrak management announced that it had restarted lease negotiations with FDOT regarding use and maintenance of the terminal. One issue however, is the deadheading move that will need to take place between the MIC and Hialeah. Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner has stated that "the company is evaluating technical and operational aspects of the move." In an Amtrak Public Board Meeting Q&A on December 1, 2022, it was revealed that Amtrak is in the final stages of its preparations for relocating from their current Miami station, and plans to officially relocate to the MIC in 2023.


The northbound Silver Star at Broad Street Station, Richmond in February 1973.

(Hikki Nagasaki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


COVID-19 pandemic

On July 6, 2020, Amtrak reduced the frequency of this train to three times per week as opposed to daily. Southbound Silver Star trains departed New York Friday through Sunday, while Silver Meteor trains departed Monday through Thursday. Similarly, northbound Silver Star trains departed Miami on Thursday through Saturday, while Silver Meteor trains departed Sunday through Wednesday. Both trains resumed daily services on June 7, 2021, after additional Amtrak funding was included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Between January 24th and October 14th, 2022, the Silver Star temporarily added a station stop in Jesup, Georgia due to the suspension of its sister train, the Silver Meteor, which is normally the only train that stops at that station. This was due to a resurgence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as well as a further delay caused by Hurricane Ian. During this period the Silver Star provided a single once daily service between New York and Miami.


Click image to see the Southbound Silver Star passing Martin State Airport station at 100 mph, June 15, 2019.

(Running time: 16 seconds. Video will open in a new window. Courtesy JG Howes, CC0.)


Rolling stock

The Silver Star uses Amtrak's standard long-distance single-level equipment: Viewliner baggage cars, Viewliner sleeping cars, Viewliner dining cars, Amfleet café-lounges and Amfleet coaches. An ACS-64 electric locomotive is used between New York City and Washington, D.C, while two GE P42DC diesel electric locomotives are used for power south of Washington, D.C.

A typical Silver Star consist as of July 2023 is made up of:

  • ACS-64 locomotive (New York–Washington)
  • P42DC locomotive (Washington–Miami)
  • P42DC locomotive (Washington–Miami)
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Café/Lounge Car
  • Viewliner II Dining Car
  • Viewliner I Sleeping Car
  • Viewliner II Sleeping Car
  • Viewliner II Baggage Car

During the 2022 suspension of the Silver Meteor, some coach and sleeping cars usually on the Silver Meteor were combined into the Silver Star, creating a train with up to six coaches and five sleepers, in addition to the café-lounge, diner, and baggage car.

The train began using rebuilt Heritage Fleet equipment on March 10, 1982.


Amtrak Silver Service route map.

(jkan997, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Star, Silver Meteor and Palmetto (this applies to north
  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Meteor and Palmetto
  • ━━━ Route of Silver Star
  • ━━━ Common route of Silver Star, Silver Meteor (Palmetto finish route at Savannah)


Route details

The Silver Star operates over a combination of Amtrak, CSX Transportation (CSXT), and Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) trackage:

• New York – Washington D.C. (Amtrak)
    • Northeast Corridor:
• Washington D.C. – Selma, North Carolina (CSXT)
    • RF&P Subdivision
    • Richmond Terminal Subdivision
    • North End Subdivision
    • South End Subdivision:
• Selma – Raleigh, North Carolina (NS)
    • Goldsboro to Greensboro District
• Raleigh – DeLand, Florida (CSXT)
    • Aberdeen Subdivision
    • Hamlet Terminal Subdivision
    • Hamlet Subdivision
    • Columbia Subdivision
    • Savannah Subdivision
    • Nahunta Subdivision
    • Jacksonville Terminal Subdivision
    • Sanford Subdivision
• DeLand – Poinciana, Florida (SunRail)
    • Central Florida Rail Corridor
• Poinciana – Tampa, Florida – Mangonia Park, Florida (CSXT)
    • Carters Subdivision
    • Lakeland Subdivision
    • Tampa Terminal Subdivision
    • Auburndale Subdivision
    • Miami Subdivision
• Mangonia Park – Miami, Florida (Tri-Rail)
    • South Florida Rail Corridor


Route of the Silver Meteor

The Silver Star uses the same route as the Silver Meteor – the other train in the Silver Service brand – excluding two segments: Selma, North Carolina – Savannah, Georgia, and Kissimmee, Florida – Winter Haven, Florida. Between Selma and Savannah, the Silver Star takes an inland route over the CSX S-Line to serve the Carolinas' state capitals of Raleigh and Columbia, while the Silver Meteor stays closer to the coast on the CSX A-Line and serves Fayetteville, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. Between Kissimmee and Winter Haven, the Silver Meteor turns south to go directly to Miami at Auburndale, Florida, while the Silver Star continues west to Lakeland, Florida and Tampa, before coming back to Auburndale and turning south to Miami. In addition to these diversions, between Sebring, Florida and West Palm Beach, Florida, the Silver Meteor makes no intermediate stops, while the Silver Star makes an additional stop at Okeechobee, Florida. Inversely, between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, the Silver Meteor makes an additional stop at Jesup, Georgia, while the Silver Star makes no intermediate stops. However, during the 2022 suspension of the Silver Meteor, the Silver Star temporarily served Jesup.

Prior to October 1986, the Silver Star operated between Petersburg, Virginia, and Raleigh via the CSX Norlina Subdivision, stopping only in Henderson, North Carolina. CSX abandoned the Norlina Subdivision between Norlina, North Carolina and Collier Yard (just south of Petersburg) in October 1986, which required the Silver Star to be rerouted over the CSX A-Line between Petersburg and Selma, then over the North Carolina Railroad between Selma and Raleigh. The Silver Star is to be rerouted via its former routing when tracks between Petersburg and Norlina are rebuilt as part of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor project, and reinstate its stop at Henderson, as well as adding a stop in La Crosse, Virginia.

Like other long-distance trains operating on the Northeast Corridor, local travel between NEC stations is not allowed on the Silver Star. Northbound trains only stop to discharge passengers from Alexandria, Virginia northward, and southbound trains only stop to receive passengers from Newark, New Jersey to Washington. This policy is in place to keep seats available for passengers making longer trips. Passengers wanting to travel locally must use the more frequent Northeast Regional or Acela trains. Additionally, the Silver Star, like the Silver Meteor, does not allow local travel between West Palm Beach and Miami. Southbound trains only stop to discharge passengers, while northbound trains only stop to receive passengers bound for points beyond West Palm Beach. This is due to the availability of Tri-Rail, South Florida's commuter rail system.

Since Amtrak ended passenger rail service over the CSX Clearwater Subdivision between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida in February 1984, Amtrak Thruway bus service has been provided at Tampa Union Station for trainside transfer of passengers and their baggage to and from Clearwater, Florida and St. Petersburg. Other points on Florida's west coast, such as Bradenton, Florida, Sarasota, Florida, Port Charlotte, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida, are also served by Amtrak Thruway service connecting with the Silver Star at Tampa. Similarly, Amtrak has provided Amtrak Thruway bus service between the former stations along the CSX Wildwood Subdivision in North-Central Florida since November 2004 after passenger rail service ended, as well as Gainesville, Florida and The Villages-Lady Lake, Florida. The former stations that are now served by Amtrak Thruway buses are: Waldo, Florida, Ocala, Florida, Wildwood, Florida, and Dade City, Florida. These buses connect with the Silver Star at Jacksonville and Lakeland.



For Ridership Statistics click HERE.


Station Stops

For Station Stops and Connections click HERE.



Service type: Inter-city rail
Locale: East Coast of the United States
First service: December 12, 1947 (SAL)
Current operator: Amtrak (May 1, 1971 – present)
Annual ridership: 434,779 (FY22) Increase 132.3%
Route Termini: New York City / Miami
Stops: 38
Distance traveled: 1,522 miles (2,449 km)
Average journey time: 31h 33m
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 91, 92
On-board services
Classes: Coach Class; Sleeper Service
Disabled access: All train cars, all stations
Sleeping arrangements: Roomette (2 beds); Bedroom (2 beds); Bedroom Suite (4 beds); Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
Catering facilities: Dining car, Café
Baggage facilities: Overhead racks, checked baggage available at selected stations
Rolling stock: Amfleet, Viewliner, GE Genesis, ACS-64, GE Dash 8-32BWH
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed: 125 mph (201 km/h) (top, NEC); 79 mph (127 km/h) (top)
Track owners: Amtrak, CSXT, NS, CFRC, SFRTA